Skylark IX Chosen for National Lottery Podcast

The Dumbarton-based Skylark IX Recovery Project is amongst the first award recipients in the UK to share personal stories on the National Lottery’s brand new podcast ‘Amazing Starts Here’.

Hosted by former Love Island contestant and winner Amber Rose-Gill, ‘Amazing Starts Here’ tells ‘the origin stories of real-life superheroes who are changing the world on their own terms’ and has been selected by Apple Podcasts as ‘New & Noteworthy’.

Chatting to Amber in Episode 4: Skylark IX: The Battered and Bruised War Hero, the Skylark IX Recovery Project’s Boatbuilder James Currie, Community Engagement Lead Jade West and Boatbuilding Project Lead Jae Bradley open up about their mental health. Together, they describe how the Dunkirk ‘Little Ship’ Skylark IX and wider activities of the Skylark IX Recovery Project have helped them on their personal journey to well-being.

The trio also explain the powerful meaning behind the Project’s motto ‘Recovery through Recovery’.

They describe how it reflects Skylark IX’s history recovering and saving soldiers from Dunkirk, her own later recovery from a watery grave in the River Leven and her role today helping people on their own recovery journey from addictions.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund awarded the Skylark IX Recovery Trust a grant of £404,000 in 2018, for activity up to the end of 2021, specifically preserving Skylark IX and delivering skills training for people recovering from addictions and members of the local communities of Dumbarton and West Dunbartonshire.


On the podcast, which is now available on all podcast platforms and at West, Community Engagement Lead at the Skylark IX Recovery Project, opens up about her own struggles with anxiety and says:


“I really recognise, because I’ve lived it, how important community-based opportunities like this are for people.

“Through the transformative space we’ve created in the workshop, we’re understanding the power of working and learning together. It’s something really special and amazing to be a part of.

“We also open the doors to the workshop as much as we can and, for some people in the community, this might be the first time they have knowingly interacted in a positive way with someone with addiction. We all hit bumps in the road and, here at the workshop, people can see our Volunteer Trainees turning their lives around and understand how Skylark IX is a symbol of that journey and that resilience.”


Introducing Boatbuilder James Currie, Amber adds:

You can never truly understand someone unless you accept that they haven’t been through exactly the same things as you.”


For Boatbuilder James Currie, the symbolism of Skylark IX underpins everything:
A boat helps carry people across the water and that’s what the Skylark IX Recovery Project is for me, helping carry someone when they’re down. It’s someone lifting them up and showing them there’s a better way, there’s a better path, showing them a new lease of life.”

The Skylark IX Recovery Project cares for the Skylark IX Dunkirk ‘Little Ship’ which took part in the World War 2 Operation Dynamo to rescue 338,000 Allied Soldiers from the beaches of Dunkirk.

The Project also delivers boatbuilding training for those recovering from addictions at Alternatives Community-based Recovery and Dumbarton Area Council on Alcohol in a Boatbuilding Workshop at the Scottish Maritime Museum (Denny Tank).

In addition, the Project runs a variety of community-based projects for those facing social isolation across West Dunbartonshire. Activities include this Summer’s SHINE programme of free fun and learning activities for 10-14 year olds.

Looking forward, the Skylark IX Recovery Project has ambitious plans to create a bright future for Skylark IX at the heart of a proposed £3M Spirit of Skylark IX Centre in the grounds of the Scottish Maritime Museum (Denny Tank) in Dumbarton.

This year, the Project also hopes to use two new hand-built skiffs, ‘Happy Days’ and ‘New Beginnings’, to establish a rowing club in Dumbarton. The town was home to a successful rowing club until interest declined in the mid 1920s.

The podcast is available on all podcast platforms and at

To register interest in the Skylark IX Recovery Project rowing club, email [email protected]

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